Film review: Ghost story falls frightfully short on scare factor

The fright film offers very little in the way of novelty, one critic believes. (Supplied)
Updated 23 April 2019

Film review: Ghost story falls frightfully short on scare factor

CHENNAI: Cinema has long had a strange fascination for ghost stories, particularly since the blockbuster horror movie “The Exorcist” in 1973.

But try as they might, writers and directors have consistently failed to come up with anything fresh other than the standard jump-scares and hideous female spirits with blood-red eyes and disheveled hair.

Director Michael Chaves – known for shorts such as “The Maiden” and the TV mini-series “Chase Champion” – has now transitioned to fiction features with “The Curse of La Llorona,” a fright film that offers very little in the way of novelty.

A quick opening scene of a young woman drowning her two sons to punish her straying husband, establishes a 17th century Mexican folktale.

Viewers are then transported to 1973 Los Angeles, where recently widowed child protection worker Anna (Linda Cardellini) gets involved in the case of a mother, Patricia Alvarez (Patricia Velasquez), who keeps her two boys locked up.

Anna rescues them but then finds them dead before the next dawn. They have been drowned, and Anna recalls Alvarez ranting about the supernatural La Llorona.

Anna herself has a boy and a girl, and she remembers Alvarez’s fear about the tale of La Llorona who, consumed by guilt, roamed the land in search of children to take the place of her own dead sons.

Screenwriters Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis take the easy way out by peppering the plot with coincidences and unconvincing situations.

Even the film’s 93-minute run time seems stretched with flickering bulbs, creaking doors and howling winds adding little to the scare factor.

And then there is the movie’s conflicts between science and superstition, and the church and sorcery. The link is clumsy and the film pales in comparison to some others in the genre such as “The Woman in Black,” which had a similar theme but was executed with much greater perfection.

Demi Lovato steps out in Jordanian-Romanian designer after engagement

Updated 49 min 32 sec ago

Demi Lovato steps out in Jordanian-Romanian designer after engagement

DUBAI: American pop star Demi Lovato has been spotted championing a pair of sandals by Jordanian-Romanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi, who is famous for her signature flared heels. 

In a picture the star shared with her 89.7 million Instagram followers on Monday, the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer was seen wearing Muaddi’s glitzy Naima leather sandals in white during a romantic dinner date with her fiancé, actor Max Ehrich, at the celebrity hotspot Nobu in Malibu, California.

The two-time Grammy nominee matched the heels with a dusty rose velvet form-fitting minidress that had a low-cut neckline and cuffed sleeves.  


Date night at Nobu I love you @maxehrich - also shout out to @brianbonifassi for the pic!!!

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She accessorized her look, which featured a sleek low bun hairstyle, with a pair of golden hoop earrings and a glittery purple purse. 

The 27-year-old star announced her engagement last month on Instagram with a series of heart-warming images of her dreamy proposal.

The couple, who confirmed their relationship in May, celebrated their special moment by a beach in Malibu.

Lovato also shared images of her wedding ring by celebrity jeweler Peter Marco.

Muaddi, whose eponymous footwear label is designed in Paris and produced in Italy, has also been in the spotlight, with the likes of Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Dua Lipa and Hailey Bieber showing off their favorite pairs at a number of star-studded events since the launch of the brand.

The 34-year-old designer, who grew up in Italy, launched her eponymous footwear line in August 2018, approximately one year after departing from her role as co-founder and creative director of luxury footwear label Oscar Tiye.


Kylie @aminamuaddiofficial

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Just last month, the entrepreneur released a limited edition Fenty x Amina Muaddi footwear capsule collection in collaboration with singer-turned-entrepreneur Rihanna. 

Multi-hyphenate “Wild Thoughts” singer tapped Muaddi to design a collection of shoes for her luxury label Fenty back in December, the designer revealed in an interview with Footwear News.

The news wasn’t all that surprising, considering that Rihanna has been a longtime fan of Muaddi’s glitzy footwear.

The singer and beauty mogul would go on to be spotted wearing Muaddi’s designs on multiple occasions, including a trip to Barbados where she accessorized a long, green sweater dress from Jacquemus with a pair of strappy sandals by Amina Muaddi.


Rih & me

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